Nestled in the Hotel Realm precinct, LiloTang offers a different Japanese menu for Canberra diners – a fusion of Kaiseki multi-course, fine dining experience and Izakayas, a more casual approach to eating.
LiloTang has an outdoor eating area (perfect for when the Spring blossoms appear), and while there is outdoor heating provided, we opted for the warmth of indoor dining. As you enter, you immediately notice the urban contemporary decor, with touches of Japanese pop-culture pasted across the walls. We dined on a Tuesday night, and the restaurant was three-quarters full, from single diners to a table ten. Sound proofing under the tables and across the ceiling ensures your conversation stays at your table.
The drinks menu includes Japanese-inspired cocktails, an extensive sake menu that can be ordered by the glass, carafe or bottle – tasting notes will help with your sake selection. We ordered wine and the LiloTang Japanese Bellini – a sweet mix of cloudy plum liquor and sparkling sake.
Our drinks are served with seasoned grilled edamame – yum. We foresee many Spring and Summer afternoons ahead, sitting outside sipping sweet Japanese Bellinis and snacking on salty of the edamame.
We were at LiloTang to sample the Chef’s tasting menu. Served Kaiseki style, the menu features seven courses, some as individual serves others as share plates. Our waitress informed us that the menu features seasonal produce including ingredients sourced from the Canberra region.
Our tasting menu started with fresh and raw. An oyster served with lime ponzu followed by Kingfish sashimi with shallot, ginger and soy.
Followed by slow-cooked pork belly with Japanese mustard miso with a cucumber salsa; then poached ocean trout with grapefruit, radicchio, sweet pepper soy and wasabi mascarpone.
A crispy rice cracker air dried fish was served with watermelon and nashi pear, and a vegetable dish cauliflower with shitake mushrooms and garlic anchovy dressing.
Chargrilled scotch fillet with herb miso, spicy dried plum and Japanese spices was the last savoury dish of the menu.
Our final dish, dessert – was sticky tofu with green tea ice cream and brown syrup. The ice-cream was a refreshing way to cleanse the palette and completed our meal.
LiloTang dishes are refined and visually pleasing. The single serve sized portions and shared salads may appear small, by the end of the seven courses no one was hungry. The Chefs tasting menu is not a quick sit-down dinner; it is served as a leisurely dining experience
What you need to know:
- The Chef’s tasting menu is available for tables of 2-12 and costs $85 per person.
- Open for lunch Tuesday to Friday 12:00pm – 2:30pm and dinner Tuesday – Saturday 6:00pm – 10:30pm.
- LiloTang is located at 1 Burbury Close, Barton
- Instagram: @LiloTang2014
- Facebook: Lilotang2014
- Twitter: @lilotang
- Hashtags: #lilotang
*The So Frank team was invited by LiloTang to sample the Chef’s tasting menu.